Mexican food is one of my family's favorite cuisines. Problem is, I often find myself struggling with what veggies to pair with it. I mean let's be honest, no one wants tacos and brussel sprouts. And as much veggies as we pile on our tacos, burritos, and fajitas, our plates aren't complete without a hefty side of produce. So, like most things in life, this spicy slaw was born out of necessity. Now, let's clear one thing up right now, I am NOT a fan of gloppy, sweet, heavily mayo-ed coleslaw. This slaw however, is not at all reminiscent of the old, outdated slaw you're familiar with. It is bright, spicy, and super fresh.
It is the perfect accompaniment to any Mexican cuisine, as well as a wonderful topping for tacos and burritos. It has the perfect amount of heat from the jalapenos and cayenne pepper. For my boys, who are not as fond of spicy foods as my husband and I, I set aside a small amount of slaw and leave out the jalapenos.
I love this dish. I singlehandedly finished off a bowl the size of a trough just as I was writing this. It is even better the next day, allowing for all the delicious southwest flavors of the dressing to fully permeate the veggies. Even though our lazy summer days have been replaced with hectic school schedules, the weather is still warm, and perfect for this crisp, crunchy, cool slaw. This is definitely one of my favorite side dishes, and I must remember to double or triple this recipe to ensure I have leftovers next time!
Cook's note: After completing this recipe, it dawned on me that I should have used radishes in this slaw as well. Their crunchy, spicy, bite would complement all the flavors in this slaw and I will definitely include them the next time I make this, and I urge you to do the same! So even though I did not use them when I made this, I did add them to the ingredient list.
Spicy Southwest Slaw
3 cups red or green cabbage, finely shredded
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 carrot, shredded
1 jalapeno pepper, finely minced (use 2 for additional heat, omit for kiddos)
1 red onion, diced
3 radishes, chopped
3 Tbs chopped cilantro
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs honey
1/2 - 1 tsp cayenne pepper (depending on how hot you like it)
1/2 tsp cumin
juice of 1/2 a lime
salt and pepper to taste
Mix all veggies together in large bowl.
Whisk dressing ingredients together.
*This makes quite a bit of dressing. I prefer to add about half the dressing, and then add more as needed. A good rule of thumb, you can always add, but you can't take away :)
Add desired amount of dressing to slaw and mix well to combine.
Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow flavors to meld.